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Best liver and onions in Toronto?

tuttebene Jun 1, 2009 03:57 PM

Listened to Marion Kane on the radio today who sparked a craving for good old fashioned , home-style liver and onions. Any good recs for diners or neighbourhood restos in Toronto that serve this (nonburbs please)? Chicken or beef liver, love them both.

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    millygirl RE: tuttebene Jun 1, 2009 03:59 PM


    1 Reply
    1. re: millygirl
      Charles Yu RE: millygirl Jun 1, 2009 04:22 PM

      Second Pastis! Calves liver with ladons and red wine reduction best in the city! You can have their seared foie gras to start with too!

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      urbanlegend RE: tuttebene Jun 1, 2009 04:32 PM

      i really enjoyed the liver and onions at dr. generosity @ bloor east of runnymede.


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        childofthestorm RE: tuttebene Jun 1, 2009 05:27 PM

        I like Batifole's version, the pan deglazed with Banyuls vinegar.

        2 Replies
        1. re: childofthestorm
          Charles Yu RE: childofthestorm Jun 1, 2009 06:10 PM

          When did you have Batifole's version last?! I had it about 4 months ago and it was HORRIBLE! The 'overcooked' liver ( I ordered it rare) was resting in a pool of watery gravy! Totally uncharacteristic of a 'deglazed' product.. Taste is much less refined and complex than Pastis!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            childofthestorm RE: Charles Yu Jun 1, 2009 07:07 PM

            About six months ago. Ordered medium rare and it was perfect. Sauce was a lovely glaze. Perhaps you caught them on a bad night, I don't know...and I haven't tried Pastis's version so I have no point of comparison.

        2. estufarian RE: tuttebene Jun 1, 2009 06:33 PM

          My usual place is Cafe Pleiade (on Mt Pleasant). In fact that's also my go to place whenever I want non-greasy comfort food.
          And their asparagus appetizer is also a fave.

          3 Replies
          1. re: estufarian
            acd123 RE: estufarian Jun 1, 2009 06:36 PM

            The liver as Pasta Bar (is that what it's still called?) was really good.

            1. re: acd123
              pearlD RE: acd123 Jun 2, 2009 06:25 AM

              Must agree with acd123.....The Pasta Bar at Scaramouche makes AMAZING Liver 'n Onions....more pricey than most but decidely worth every penny.
              On a more modest scale is the Liver and Onions at Senior's on Yonge Street at Pleasant Blvd.......damn good in the 'neighbourhood style'.

              1. re: pearlD
                estufarian RE: pearlD Jun 2, 2009 07:13 AM

                I nearly put Senior's too. I go there for a fix sometimes, but find it a little greasy, so went with my other recommendation of Cafe Pleiade. But Senior's certainly qualifies.

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            OTFOODIE RE: tuttebene Jun 1, 2009 07:01 PM

            In another thread, I mentioned having L&O at the Palace on Pape, just north of Danforth. It was grilled rare and piled high with onions. Nothing fancy, like some of the others mentioned, just outright delicious and cut-with-a-fork tender.

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              mexivilla RE: tuttebene Jun 2, 2009 05:28 AM

              Merlot has great liver and onions.

              But now I live too far away and so I hope someone has a recommendation in Richmond Hill.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mexivilla
                juno RE: mexivilla Jun 2, 2009 08:14 AM

                Ah, liver and onions. One of my favorite tests of a resto. Of those mentioned above, I've enjoyed Pastis Express and the Pasta Bar at Scaramouche the most. Both at roughly the same price. And close behind, in quality but in price as well, is the also-aforementioned Cafe Pleiade, a charming joint on Mount Pleasant Rd. To which I'll add Paese, on Bathurst St. north of Wilson Ave. (even though its price scandalously jumped recently to above $20); and Coppi, another Italian spot, on Yonge St. between Lawrence and York Mills. Most other places I've tried are pretty much a washout. After hamburgers, liver and onions has to be one of the most botched comfort food dishes in Toronto.

                Mad Buy Dept.: though the OP mentioned that he/she doesn't want to travel to the suburbs for a liver-and-onions fix, there's also the best cheap and tasty version in Toronto, in my view, at Steeles Deli, a diner on Steeles Ave. west of Yonge St., in a plaza diagonally across from a Canadian Tire store. It may not be prime provimi liver, but it's mighty delicious diner food at $12-$13 (it comes in two sizes), and you can't beat the price, which is about half what it is in the fancier joints. It comes with soup or salad, and potatoes and veggies. For lighter appetites, Steeles Deli also serves it as a sandwich.

                1. re: juno
                  Splendid Wine Snob RE: juno Jun 2, 2009 09:11 AM

                  Thanks for the great list of places Juno. Properly cooked calves livers are also one of my litmus tests for a resto. They are almost never done properly (either in their prep or cooking) and are often disappointing. The best ones I've ever had in the city have been at Le Select but I will have to try the Pasta Bar and Pastis-thanks for the recs.!

                  1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                    dubchild RE: Splendid Wine Snob Jun 2, 2009 09:26 AM

                    I'll have to try this dish at Le Select, since they have a good beer list, to accompany the liver.

                    The best liver I've had was lamb liver. Can this be found in the city?

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                ekammin RE: tuttebene Jun 2, 2009 11:06 AM

                To me, the Middle Eastern way of making liver (with hot peppers) is far superior to liver and onions. The Jerusalem Restaurant makes a good example of this.

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